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How a Non-Profit Childcare Center can Change the Direction of Early Childhood Education

For over 15 years, Mother Nurture Company has been operating a childcare center locally known as Frog Pond Early Learning Center. With its unique mission of nurturing pre-school children through nature-based and science-focused curriculum, Frog Pond has established itself as a school that is capable of bartering for tuition in order to provide any family with the Frog Pond Experience, regardless of economic hardship. Established as a non-profit, Mother Nurture Company enhances the opportunities for lower income families to feel a sense of pride and connection to their child's school. Families are involved with any aspect of operation aside from teaching and their contributions are thus endless.

Photo of Gail Dickert
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A non-profit approach to childcare allows the phrase, "It takes a village" to fully integrate into the economic discussion of early childhood education. It is inspiring to see a community support a school and thus, a school support a community. It raises the question about other obstacles to early childhood education such as: What sensory needs are lost when a childcare scenario is primarily focused on academics? How is social and emotional intelligence ignored in light of profit-driven education? Do families feel comfortable asking questions and learning with their early childhood centers or are they treated like products/services rather than a family approach due to the prevalent for-profit structure?

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great provocations, Gail. And do you have thoughts on how this kind of program /approach might be promoted in low income communities in the developing world? Do you have anyone in your network who is operating in early childhood development in this context that you could ask / invite to join our OpenIDEO challenge? It's great to have the valuable perspectives of folks like you who are working in this space.

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can appreciate who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & more. Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

Photo of Gail Dickert

Meena, thanks for commenting on the contribution. I think there are several ways which this type of program could be offered in other parts of the world. It starts with facilitating the small business mindset and matching it with the altruistic spirit of any community. In the future, my particular non-profit, aims to collaborate with global foundations who could benefit from supporting our non-profit branches in various countries. We believe that the soul of any community is to find ways to barter and use whatever gifts are at their disposal in exchange for services. It has an indigenous vibe and we have seen it bring our school to life over the years, as it honors the value of people over money. Of course, money is always needed too, and thus, a good business plan can be hard to find ;)

I look forward to being involved in any ways that are available to me. This is a terrific project/challenge.

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Gail, how nicely put: 'honoring people over money'. Keep the inspiration coming - you have a unique point of view to contribute to the challenge!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Way to go, Gail. You might like to chime in on this Amplify-funded initiative currently under development in Nairobi: https://openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/funded-impact/kidogo-mama-preneur-microfranchising